Repent and do the First Works!

“Enough!” This word strongly filled my mind on Friday, May 14, 2021. I’ve heard the Lord’s voice audibly before, but this is not common—and it does not make me a special Christian—many others have heard Him too, and so can all who seek Him.

“Enough!”

This single word jolted me out of a mindset that I have been fighting for a long time. I’ve been battling sins of the mind and body that I cannot overcome, and I was thinking about these things and feeling defeated. “This is just who I am. This is who God made.” I was also seriously questioning my work for the Lord. How can someone of such a profane mind do the work of God? Perhaps I have been deceived. Something just doesn’t feel right. Something is missing, but I don’t know what.

“Enough!”

Enough giving sin a foothold. Not that I have entirely. I have tried to overcome. I really have. Yet, “which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?” I cannot make myself anything other than who I am. Period. Sure, I prayed about these things a lot. Yet, my faith over the years weakened due to many prayers seemingly unanswered.

“Enough!”

If Christ is in us, and we resist the devil, he will leave us alone. How often did I do this? Not very often at all. I didn’t believe that I could. I realized that every sin I struggle with begins in the mind—and every thought can be countered by the word of God. Even if sin takes hold before I have time to stop it, I can acknowledge it and say these words, and there is relief. The word of God is powerful because the Word of God speaks it in us.

“Enough!”

Oh me and “my work” for the Lord… my work? No. His work. Those who keep HIS works to the end will overcome and be saved. All of it—the overcoming of sin and the work I do for His Kingdom—it is all HIS works. I worry myself sick thinking that I will fail God or that I might be deceived because I see some things differently than others, and to think that I have things right and other people are missing something is just too much to consider. I must be deceived.

No. HIS works are not deception. My fear of man and what they think is the deception. We can make our boast in the Lord, and though people hate that out of fear, envy, or love of sin they might want to justify, we should boast in the Lord anyway. HIS works. HIS! Any good thing we have HE gave us, and the great news is that He will give it all to those who are faithful to Him—even our faithfulness was wrought in Him before we were ever born. It is ALL HIM!

Do not fear man or give glory to man. Fear God and glorify HIM!

“Enough!”

It’s been almost seven years since I started taking the Christian faith seriously. That number feels like a benchmark, so that is part of why I have been thinking about my Christian state so much lately. A lot has happened in that time, and Jesus has shown me a lot. Yet, there are things about those early years I miss.

I miss the zeal, or aspects of it. I still have some zeal, but the desire to study the word and to find out truth has somewhat slipped. The excitement over a gospel that promises righteousness in this present world by the power of Jesus Himself has somewhat slipped and was slipping.

One step in the direction of yielding to sin is a step down a slippery slope. Have I started teaching that we yield to sin? How could I say anything else when I myself was overcome with sin? I know that we are judged by the judgements we make, but the judgements against sin are God’s. They are already made. I do not have to judge it; I just need to listen to Him. Sin is not acceptable. We have grace, mercy, and forgiveness because we are weak—but there is power in the name of Jesus! We do not yield!

So, for me, seven years after I started seeking Jesus earnestly, I feel a bit like Ephesus. “Repent and do the first works.”

The first works of seeking the truth with eagerness and an expectation to find it. The first works of seeking righteousness through the power of Jesus with eagerness and expectation to have it done. The first works of encouraging my brethren to come out of perversions within the Christian faith—but this time—in the right spirit. I’ve also started listening to the old studies I used to listen to. They are very encouraging in righteousness, and I love that.

“Enough!”

We all like to think that we are of the “good churches,” and by the grace of God will can be if we listen and if we repent. As for me, “Repent and do the first works or else I will come to thee quickly and will remove your candlestick out of its place.” I will repent. I will do the first works—which are HIS WORKS!

His works are faithful. His works are sure. His works are always on time and perfect. His works are His and God alone will glorify in them. We do not fear Satan. We do not fear sin or yield to the devil.

This does not mean that we will never sin or should deny our capacity for sin. Only Jesus is truly Holy. Yet, when we do sin there should be a proper response, and if we take His Name and His Word up as our weapon we will overcome sin more readily—and when we do, we know that it is He in us who does this work. Throw your own virtue out the door. There is no room for it.

We do not make our boast in our works or fear that we will not do adequate works. We do not worship the works of any man. Not the Christian leaders of old or of the present. Not the works of governments. Not the works of big-tech billionaires. HIS works. Fear God. Glorify Him. Keep HIS works to the end and be saved!

“Enough!”

 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. – Revelation 2: 1-5

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